As a new teacher, diving heads first into lesson planning can be challenging. Even for experienced teachers, planning lessons can be a daunting task.


It can be difficult to know where to start but with the right tools, you can become a confident and prepared teacher who can focus on what really matters – inspiring your students.


We have compiled 5 easy to implement lesson planning tips for new teachers to take their teaching to the next level.

Tip #1: Start with the entire curriculum and set clear goals


Many early career teachers (ETCs) don’t know where to begin when planning lessons. However, studies have suggested that starting with the entire curriculum and working backwards can offer direction and structure when planning lessons. Understanding the broader context of the curriculum can help ECTs align individual lessons with overarching goals.


By focusing on the bigger picture, you will better understand what content and activities you need to prepare for. It will also provide you with the flexibility to adapt lessons while assessing whether relevant knowledge and skills have been acquired before progressing.


After determining what students need to know for each unit, you can start planning how to get them to this point. Keep in mind how many weeks or months you have to get your students towards the end objective and plan your lesson activities accordingly.


Also be sure to set clear goals when planning lessons. Ask yourself questions like ‘what do I want my students to learn?’ and ‘how can I measure their progress?’. This will help you create objectives that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound (SMART).

Tip #2: Incorporate different learning styles


When creating your lesson plan, consider the different learning styles of your students. Think about incorporating activities that appeal to different learning styles. This way you can ensure that the whole class is engaged. Some students learn best through visual activities such as watching videos or viewing diagrams, while others learn best through hands-on activities.


Integrate visuals, hands-on activities, discussions, and other techniques to create a dynamic learning experience. The key is to infuse variety, ensuring that lessons resonate with the diverse ways in which students absorb information.


Remember to pay attention to how students respond to your lessons. If some students fail to grasp certain concepts, you may need to adjust your lesson plan and provide additional activities or resources. Paying attention to how your students learn can ensure that everyone gets the most out of your class.

Tip #3: Use existing teaching materials


Many teachers spend a lot of time planning innovative lesson plans, but this can take a lot of time and consideration. Sometimes it’s important to remember that less is more when planning lessons.


Reduce the time you’re spending overpreparing by referring to existing teaching materials. You can do this by asking your colleagues if they have any resources they recommend. You can also check the school system to see what websites or schemes they are signed up to.


There are also a wide range of resource websites for teachers to explore. For example, Tes is a resource site designed by educators for educators. Their blog posts have valuable lesson planning tips and insights which you can get access to by registering for free. Twinkl is another highly regarded and reliable website known for its extensive collection of materials. For teachers looking for primary teaching resources, Primary Resources has lots of relevant information and includes resources for a range of subjects including languages, art, English, mathematics, and more. Teacher’s Pet is a newer platform with apps, services and resources. The platform is user-friendly and includes global awareness day calendars so you can plan your lessons around relevant worldwide events.

Tip #4: Create a lesson plan schedule


Creating a structured schedule for your teaching plan is crucial to ensure that you cover all essential content within the allocated timeframe. Planning out your lessons in advance helps you determine when to introduce new content and when to review previously learned materials. It also allows you to separate learning into distinct phases like introduction, main activities, review/wrap-up and how to close your lessons.


When creating your timeline, divide it into different sections and specify goals for each lesson. For example, when introducing a new topic or concept, ensure you leave enough time for discussions and time for your students to reflect on their learning. Consider how long each activity will take and avoid overloading a single lesson. Also take into account transition times between activities, especially if your lesson involves multiple tasks in a single session.


It can be a good idea to prepare some back-up activities for situations where the lesson ends quicker than anticipated. This can be a real lifesaver in the classroom as a new teacher. Some back-up activities could include printing flashcards and quizzing children on topics they are studying, word searches or showing them a video relevant to classroom materials. You can also check out these five minute lesson tasks from Tes.

Tip #5: Make it interactive


Interactive teaching is about instructing students in a way where they are actively involved with their learning. Consider incorporating experiments, activities and discussions in your lesson plans. Ask questions, prepare hands-on projects, have students work together to explore ideas, and get them to create presentations. Use audio and video resources to prompt dialogue and debate.


By encouraging your students to actively engage in your class and think on their own, they will retain information learned in the class. As well as improving their knowledge, they will also be more interested in the lessons and what you’re teaching.


Some activities you can incorporate in your lessons include brainstorming, bingo, buzz sessions, peer review writing tasks and think, pair and share. Learn more about these activities here.

After each lesson, take a moment to reflect and refine your lesson plans. Consider what worked well and what aspects you can improve on. Remember that the more lesson planning you do throughout your career, the better you will get. Seek support from your colleagues or connect with your dedicated consultant if you’re working with an agency.


At Monarch, we understand how important it is to be prepared. Use these tips to spark creativity in the classroom and foster engagement. Happy planning!


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